Black History month traditionally focuses on the past and how the future has been shaped by the past. Kevin Hall is changing the future now for both African Americans and Deaf individuals. Kevin has been Deaf since he was two years old after he contracted H-flu meningitis. He attended St. Rita School for the Deaf in Cincinnati, where he learned to communicate through American Sign Language (ASL). He began playing golf at the age of nine with his mom and dad. He played golf for Winton Woods High School and went to Ohio State to continue his golf career, winning the 2004 Big Ten Championship. Kevin always says that the noise of the crowd doesn’t get to him. He has no noise distractions on the course, one of the benefits of being deaf.
Kevin grew up in a loving family with parents that supported him in every aspect of life. They encouraged him to communicate using both ASL and voice. They also made sure he practiced golf on every fair weather day possible. Benefiting from their support and the support of and many rounds of golf with one of his mentors, Patrick Sweeney, Kevin followed his dream and became a professional golfer. He just played the PGA Tour’s Genesis Open on the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption this month.
Kevin uses an interpreter to communicate with the press during press conferences. Prior to the Genesis Open, Kevin’s conference showed his struggles to communicate in the hearing world. The press asked a question, the interpreter had to sign the question to Kevin and then he in turn responded to the question. There is always a delay in communication having to use an interpreter. Kevin, with his contagious smile, held his press conference and proved to any child with a hearing impairment that they can do anything they set their mind to.
Kevin is a true role model for African Americans and the deaf community today.
-Melisa Greatorex, Chatfield Instructor